How to Pay for Baylor University: Aid and Student Loan Options

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A private Christian university, Baylor University ranked No. 75 in U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 edition of Best Colleges.

With a 1,000-acre campus studded with trees and red-brick buildings along the Brazos River in Waco, Texas, Baylor has a larger-than-average undergraduate enrollment of 14,348.

The college admits 40% of applicants every year, making it one of the more selective schools in the state. Getting in is a big achievement, but once you do, you have to think about how to pay for Baylor University.

If you’re considering Baylor, here’s what you need to know about covering costs with financial aid and even shopping around for the right student loan.

Baylor University tuition and cost of attendance

Since Baylor is a private university, its tuition costs are the same for state and nonstate residents alike. Here’s the breakdown of tuition and other fees for the 2018-19 school year.

Note that Baylor assumes on-campus residency and a full-time meal plan for its room and board cost, but you could live off campus or cook at home to save money.

Tuition

$41,194

Required fees

$4,598

Room and board

$13,038

Total (fall and spring)

$58,830

These costs are high. In fact, tuition has increased nearly 140% since 2002 after Baylor set its sights on becoming a top-50 school.

Remember: That’s just the sticker price. Thanks to grants, scholarships, and other types of financial aid, your net price will most likely be less.

How to pay for Baylor University

Although Baylor’s annual tuition costs are almost $9,000 more than the average yearly cost of a private college ($32,410, according to the College Board), you probably won’t have to pay full price.

According to Baylor, 92% of its undergraduate population receives financial aid from various sources. These sources, by the way, could be institutional, federal, or private.

When figuring out how to pay for Baylor University, explore the options below.

1. Baylor University scholarships and work-study

Although not every student will qualify, Baylor offers a variety of scholarships for academic achievement, financial need, and other reasons. If you’re wondering how to pay for Baylor University, these awards could help.

  • Academic awards are based on your class rank and SAT or ACT scores. Baylor provides the full-tuition Regents’ Gold Scholarship to National Merit finalists, as well as other significant awards to students with strong academic credentials.

  • Need-based scholarships are based on your financial need as measured by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Some need-based scholarships have special requirements, such as living in a “Living-Learning Center” (where you’ll live with students who share similar interests as you, academic or otherwise) or having a sibling who is currently enrolled in Baylor.

  • Carr P. Collins Scholarships are awarded to Texas residents who meet certain requirements, including graduating in the top 25% of their class. These awards start at $5,200 and are renewable for three years.

  • Departmental scholarships typically go to Baylor juniors and seniors who have declared a major and excelled academically.

  • Athletic awards are given to student-athletes based on NCAA guidelines.

  • Baptist scholarships include various awards up to $5,000 a year to students who are involved in or are planning a career in the Baptist church or who have a parent serving as a Baptist minister or missionary.

  • Baylor University work-study provides an on-campus job for any student who wants it, even if they didn’t file the FAFSA. But priority goes to students who file the FAFSA and qualify for federal work-study. You can only pursue this type of work-study after school has been in session for three weeks. Most jobs are for minimum wage, paid via direct deposit to your bank account.

2. Federal grants and work-study

Although Baylor University scholarships aren’t guaranteed, most students with demonstrated financial need can qualify for federal grants or work-study. To receive this aid, make sure to submit the FAFSA, ideally as soon as possible. Oct. 1 is the earliest date to file your application, and awards are first come, first served.

Baylor University will put together your financial aid award and send it out when (or shortly after) you get your acceptance letter. Along with student loans, your aid package could include these types of grants or work-study:

  • Pell Grant: Up to $6,095 is awarded to students with demonstrated financial need.

  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant: Between $100 and $4,000 is awarded to students with financial need.

  • Tuition Equalization Grant: Up to $3,364 (or up to $5,046 for students with exceptional need) is awarded to Texas residents who have financial need and meet other requirements.

  • Federal work-study: This program guarantees you a part-time job of up to 20 hours per week on campus. You’ll get first pick of campus jobs, and — unlike with Baylor’s own work-study program — you can snag one during the first three weeks of the semester.

3. Private scholarships

Scholarships from private organizations are another great way to cover college costs since you don’t have to pay them back.

There are a wealth of resources online for finding college scholarships. You might also ask your school counselor about local opportunities.

Not all scholarships are based on academic achievement either. You can find awards for community service, random hobbies, and many other reasons.

Search around so you can find scholarships that are a good match for you and your interests.

4. Federal or private student loans

Once you’ve exhausted your options for gift aid, you might need to consider student loans, which could be federal or private. The U.S. Department of Education offers low-rate student loans to students who submit the FAFSA. There are two main types:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans go to students with financial need and do not accrue interest while you’re in school.
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to any student and start accruing interest from the date the funds are paid out.

Direct Loans disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2017, come with an origination fee of 1.066%. The interest rate is 5.05% for undergraduate loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2018.

Unlike grants and scholarships, you’ll have to repay these loans — with interest. They may not cover the full cost of attendance since the aggregate borrowing limit for dependent students is $31,000.

If you still have a gap in funding, your parents could borrow a federal Parent PLUS Loan, which comes with a 7.60% interest rate and 4.264% origination fee.

You and your family could also consider a private student loan from a bank, such as Citizens Bank, or an online lender, such as College Ave or CommonBond. Most private lenders will require a cosigner, so make sure you and your parent or other cosigner are on the same page about sharing debt.

Plus, take time to read over the details of repayment before borrowing money, and make sure to shop around for the best interest rates. By doing your due diligence, you can avoid taking on a burdensome amount.

Reduce the burden with a tuition payment plan

Along with scholarships and other aid, Baylor University is also flexible when it comes to paying tuition.

Rather than paying all at once, you can divide the cost into five separate payments throughout the fall and spring semesters.

Note that you will still need to provide a down payment at the beginning, along with a $60 setup fee. But this fee might be worth it since it means you don’t have to pay a year’s worth of tuition all at once.

Estimate your net cost of attendance before you enroll

Although Baylor University’s tuition looks high at first glance, you can reduce costs with financial aid. Check out Baylor University’s website for more information.

And while you’re there, use its scholarship and cost calculator to estimate your cost of attendance. This calculator collects basic financial and academic information to predict your aid.

Keep in mind that this is a preliminary estimate, and it doesn’t take everything into account. But it’ll give you a sense of your financial aid eligibility so that you can plan accordingly.

Plus, you can keep applying to scholarships and taking other steps to pay for college. In the end, the more you can pay toward tuition now, the less student debt you’ll have in the future.

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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.